Philips CityScape Downtown headphones

The Philips Downtown (SHL5605) are part of the CityScape range headphones designed for those with a 'mordern city lifestyle'. Read our Philips CityScape Downtown review to find out more.

Philips CityScape Downtown: Design

Philips says that the Downtown headphones are 'inspired by New York and its smart-casual street style'. The headphones are certainly stylish, in a simple way, and we agree that they look both smart and casual at the same time. See also: Audio reviews.

The first thing we noticed when we put the Downtown on was just how comfortable and light they are. These are a good choice if you want to listen to music for long periods of time. The comfort is thanks to large cushions on the ear cups. Each one sits on a ball joint ensuring the headphones automatically adjust to sit nicely on your head.

See also: Bowers & Wilkins P3 review.

The headband is made from metal but is partly wrapped in fabric for comfort. Our review sample came in a dark brown colour but grey and purple models are also available.

We found build quality to be of a generally high standard – we were able to bend and flex the Downtown without fear of the headphones breaking.

Although the Downtown headphones are designed for those on the go in the city, they don't fold into a more compact shape for travelling.

Philips CityScape Downtown headphones purple

Philips CityScape Downtown: Price

The Downtown headphones sit in the middle of the CityScape range at £59 with the Uptown priced at £89 and the Shibuya prices at £45. However, at the time of writing a pair of the Downtown model on Amazon is priced as little as £38.

Philips CityScape Downtown: Sound quality and performance

As we mentioned before, we found the Downtown headphones extremely comfortable. Despite the fact they are on-ear headphones we found sound isolation very good, although not flawless. We also found little in the way of noise leakage – Philips puts this, the isolation, down to its 'MusicSeal', a double layered wall within the ear shell and secure edges between the cushion and housing.

Sound is provided by a pair of 'finely tuned' 40mm drivers with a frequency response of 18-22,000Hz. We found that the Downtown headphones provided a clear and natural sound suitable for a wide range of music styles.

Philips CityScape Downtown headphones microphone

A decent mid-range meant vocals and instruments like guitars sounded particularly sweet, however we found the Downtown somewhat lacking in the bass department and the overall sound became quite muddy at higher volumes. Considering the price, we were impressed by the decent sound quality.

Philips CityScape Downtown: Features

A couple of noteworth features include a 1.2m flat anti-tangle cable and an in-line microphone. This means you can easily use the Downtown headphones to make calls with a smartphone. The microphone is compatible with iPhone, BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony handsets.

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Philips CityScape Downtown: Specs

  • 40mm driver
  • 18-22,000Hz,32Ohm impedence
  • 1.2m flat anti-tangle cable
  • in-line microphone
  • 398g
  • 40mm driver
  • 18-22,000Hz,32Ohm impedence
  • 1.2m flat anti-tangle cable
  • in-line microphone
  • 398g


The Philips CityScape Downtown headphones offer comfort and style for a very affordable price. Sound quality is respectable but not astounding, but we didn't expect anything more for the asking price.

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